Awards recognise support for women in science

A scheme which recognises efforts to support women in science has granted accreditation to 10 universities and academic departments in its latest round of awards.

August 20, 2011

The awards from the Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science have been running since 2006 and recognise work to address gender inequalities in science, engineering and technology. They are split into three categories, bronze, silver and gold, and the 10 presented this week bring the total number awarded to 87.

The bronze awards have been presented to: the University of Strathclyde; the School of Maths and Physics, Queen’s University Belfast; the School of Psychology, Cardiff University; the Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London; the Department of Chemistry, University of Manchester; the School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nottingham; and the School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham.

Silver awards have been presented to: the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh; the Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University; and the Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London.

To date, only one gold award has been presented – to the Department of Chemistry, University of York.

Sarah Hawkes, who oversees the Athena SWAN charter at the Equality Challenge Unit, said: “It is encouraging that we continue to see the full range of science, engineering and technology departments coming through every year, from biological sciences, through to physical sciences and engineering.

“We’ve found that a greater number of mathematics departments are coming forward, and also submissions from disciplines allied to medicine. The message that gender disparities need to be, and can be, addressed is clearly being heard across the whole [science, engineering and technology] spectrum.”

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